Cracking to ride and gorgeous to look at
Rear brake light switch contacts corroded, but easily fixed with a strip and clean.
No other faults.
I was drawn to the ZX-7R because apart from maybe the Ducati 916 and the MV Agusta F4, I think it's the best looking sportsbike ever made. I've also had a couple of other Kawasakis which were both great bikes, and as soon as I rode the 7, I fell in love.
Even 8 years after it first appeared, the 7R is still a real head turner, particularly in lime green or red (mine's the former), and I've had both bikers and non-bikers come up to me in petrol stations when refueling it to comment on how much it stands out from the sportsbike herd, and how aggressive and attractive it looks. The bike is totally standard apart from a tinted double bubble screen, tail tidy and a hugger.
Due to one of the most dismal British summers in recent memory, I've only clocked up a measly 3,000 miles since I bought the bike just under a year ago. However, it's been enough for the bike to work its way into my affections.
The absolute best thing, apart from the looks, is the handling. The extra weight this bike carries, for which it was sometimes criticised, actually makes it ideal for the roads. It feels planted, shrugs off odd cambers and potholes, and encourages you to lean it, and lean it, and lean it until you're taking corners at ridiculous speeds. At no point does it ever twitch or break away without warning. The downside is it sometimes feels a little slow to turn initially, but a good shove on the inside bar sorts it nicely.
The engine is very strong in the midrange, but most modern generation 600's will give it a run for its money at the top end. That said, no 600 gives such effortless drive out of slow corners, fuels so cleanly so low down the rev range, or provides such a wide spread of smooth power. And yes like most Kawasakis it sounds gorgeous, even on a standard pipe.
Despite being a big old bruiser, the bike is uncomfortable, but that's a feature of a race rep and not something really to criticise. It's OK above 50 mph, but below that the weight starts to tell on the wrists. Like most Kawasakis it has a hard ride and this also becomes uncomfortable after a while.
Overall though, it's been a great bike, and definitely worth hanging on to for another summer or two. Values certainly aren't dropping, and I reckon mine is still worth all bar about UKP100 of what I paid for it this time last year. I think its race heritage and distinctive styling will mean good ones will always sell easily and for good money.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th November, 2004